Friday, July 27, 2012

The Music of Glee

Glee, everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure TV show, has produced dozens of fun, singable songs from the past and present over three seasons. Homage has been paid to Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Whitney Houston, with whole episodes dedicated to just their music. Glee’s also done tributes to Rocky Horror Picture Show and Saturday Night Fever, and Christmas episodes devoted to jazzed up holiday classics.

The newest release from Glee is The Graduation Album. This bittersweet senior year record includes the Glee cast’s version of fun’s “We Are Young”, Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”, and Madonna’s “I’ll Remember.

Whether you like the pop music, rock music, or musical theater numbers, there’s something here for everyone. You may have a favorite episode, a favorite character, or a favorite song. Whatever your favorite is, the Calcasieu Parish Public Library owns the Glee albums and you can check them out or download the songs!

With your library card, you can check out up to 10 CDs and download up to 10 songs per week from Freegal, our free downloadable music service. Find your favorite Glee songs in the library or online!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Central Book Club: Unbroken

by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is a biography of Louis Zamperini, Olympic athlete and World War II POW. Hillenbrand begins the tale with Louis' childhood and his knack for getting into and out of trouble. She tells how his brother and running gave him a purpose and gives us fascinating details of his trip to the 1936 Berlin Olympics where Louis briefly spoke to the Fuhrur himself. She then moves on to the focus of this biography, Louis' experience during World War II. On a search and rescue mission Louis' plane malfunctions, killing all but three of the occupants. Louis then spends over 40 days drifting in the Pacific with his two crewmates, surviving on what fish and birds they could catch and depending on rain for food. Compounding the misery of slow dehydration and starvation, the sun blistered their skin and the sharks constantly ran their fins along the bottom of the raft. After losing one crew member, Louis and is crew mate Phil finally find land, only to be captured by a Japanese patrol while still in the water. What follows is a tale that is horrifying and heartbreaking as we learn what it really means to be a prisoner of war.

Not only is this a fascinating tale from Louis' life, Hillenbrand uses other POW accounts and documented WWII events to really immerse the reader into this dark period in our history. Recommended for those who enjoy reading WWII narratives, survival stories, and stories of the human spirit conquering trauma.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Staff Pick: It's Only a Movie...

It's Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock, a Personal Biography
by Charlotte Chandler 

The title, It's Only a Movie..., was what moviegoers sometimes had to remind themselves as they watched Alfred Hitchcock's films, and Hitchcock also spoke these words to his workers.  The author tells about Hitchcock's astounding film techniques, his life with his beloved wife and daughter, and the recollections of many of the professionals who were involved in his works.  Many of the fantasy stories are presented which can bring back movie/TV-watching memories for the reader.  Hitchcock's work ethic, film skills, imagination, and pranks are told in a manner which allows the reader to better understand the genius who provided such unique, noteworthy films.  Eleven pages of index, a complete filmography, and over ten black-and-white photos add to the enjoyment of this insightful biography.

Reviewed by Mary.